Mercia EIS Funds

Sweet dreams for Yorkshire sleep technology start-up following first funding

An award-winning consumer personalised health device manufacturer specialising in sleep aid technologies is gearing up for growth following significant seed investment.

Braintrain 20:20, which combines wearables, apps and consumer electronics to deliver the perfect night’s sleep, has received a total of £485,000 from Mercia Fund Management and notable angel investors, including senior sleep specialists and healthcare entrepreneurs. The funding will be used to expand the business and complete a formal clinical trial at a global top-tier sleep research centre.

According to NHS Choices, problems with sleep are thought to affect one in three people. These are exacerbated by modern habits such as 24/7 connectivity, phone screens and electric lights. A lack of sleep can cause serious long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, as well as day-to-day issues such as low mood, poor cognitive performance and dangerous driving.

Braintrain 20:20’s first patented product, SleepCogni, measures heart rate, skin temperature and oxygen levels in the blood to build a sleep programme based entirely around the patient, their habits and their needs. It then delivers cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) via light and sound therapy though a unique bedside device and speaker system, which is capable of both inducing sleep and rousing the patient at an appropriate time.

SleepCogni has already received positive feedback after piloting its initial prototype at Sheffield Hallam University, with 50% of its users reporting an improvement in their sleep compared to other groups using traditional relaxation music. With its technology, as well as a strong mix of commercial, sales and scientific expertise in its team, Braintrain is well placed to become a leader in the global sleep aid market, which is currently valued at $58.1bn.

Richard Mills, CEO of Braintrain 20:20, said:

“Mercia is the perfect partner for us, as their ‘Complete Capital Solution’ will be able to meet our needs as a personalised healthcare technology start-up. We need an investor that understands our journey ahead and can help us plan for future growth.

“Our mission is to help the millions of sleep sufferers around the world with a clinically proven, non-drug solution and reduce the world’s dependency on sleeping tablets.”

Dr Ashish Patel, Investment Manager for Mercia Fund Management, said:

“We have wanted to explore the consumer personalised healthcare market for a long time, and we are particularly excited about Braintrain 20:20, which has the potential to become industry-leading given the sector expertise of the team. The technology could also be modified for other health issues, thus allowing people to take control of their health, whilst decreasing the burden on stretched health services.”